Cassini Orbiter Instruments
They survey and sniff, analyze and scrutinize. And of course, they take stunning images in various visible spectra. The 12 science instruments onboard the Cassini spacecraft are seemingly capable of doing it all. Each instrument is designed to carry out sophisticated scientific studies of Saturn, from collecting data in multiple regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, to studying dust particles, to characterizing Saturn’s plasma environment and magnetosphere.
The instruments gather data for 27 diverse science investigations, providing scientists with an enormous amount of information on the most beautiful planet in our Solar System.
Optical Remote Sensing
Mounted on the remote sensing pallet, these instruments study Saturn and its rings and moons in the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS)
- Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
- Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS)
- Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS)
Fields, Particles and Waves
These instruments study the dust, plasma and magnetic fields around Saturn. While most don’t produce actual “pictures,” the information they collect is critical to scientists’ understanding of this rich environment.
- Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS)
- Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA)
- Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS)
- Magnetometer (MAG)
- Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI)
- Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS)
Microwave Remote Sensing
Using radio waves, these instruments map atmospheres, determine the mass of moons, collect data on ring particle size, and unveil the surface of Titan.